Natchez, Mississippi – Another road trip! I had the opportunity to attend the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage, and tour some amazing antebellum homes. This monthlong tour of homes has something for everyone. One of my favorites was a visit to Richmond – a house built in 3 distinct phases.
This 16,000 square ft home has been in the John Shelby Marshall family since 1832. There are 3 distinct styles when you look at the house. The middle section is the oldest, dating to 1784. The Greek Revival portion dates to 1832, and the final brick addition was made in 1860.
Now I will tell you up front – no interior photos were allowed on the tour, but let me assure you, it’s fantastic. The same family has occupied this 100+ acre spot since 1832, so the furniture is all original! It was floated down the river from New York in the 1830s!
Richmond is more of an estate than a plantation – their working plantations are located elsewhere. There are several similar properties in suburban Natchez. The day I visited was just after a big spring storm, and I was just hoping I didn’t get stuck on the way in to visit the house! Slip sliding down a dirt road made for more adventure!
You enter into the 1784 section of the house – the oldest part. It’s considered a French Plantation style. There’s a large hallway where family gatherings have been held for nearly 200 years. Doors on both sides provide great cross ventilation.
Ms. Nall, who currently resides here made this a fun and informative tour. Her grandmother had wallpaper put up throughout the house when the Pilgrimage first started back in the 1930s…why? She figured people didn’t want to pay money to see all the cracks in their plaster walls!
The Greek Revival portion of the house contains the formal rooms – parlors, and 2 dining rooms! Everything is symmetrical in the rooms. This may be the front of the house, the family isn’t sure – it’s up for debate. But everyone enters the older, middle section.
The family history made this so interesting – the homeowner’s extended family lived here, and the house actually felt cramped. Turns out that her mother was one of 10 siblings – and 7 of them never married and lived here! Imagine 6 “old maid” aunts and 1 bachelor uncle, plus a young family living here. I guess that could make 16,000 sf feel crowded!
Beautifully decorated with the original furnishings, it’s fun to look at how this home has appeared for nearly 200 years. And the 3 distinct sections of this house made for an interesting tour.
The red brick addition, dating to 1860, primarily housed bedrooms. What made this home so interesting – besides the 3 distinct phases of it – was hearing from a descendent of the family that has lived here since the 1830s.
Natchez has both a Spring and Fall Pilgrimage, and several hoes open year round for tours. For more details, visit the Natchez Pilgrimage site . Thanks so much for taking this tour, I sure do appreciate you reading the blog!